Intoxicated pilot crashes

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Denmark, Wis. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: During a flight before the accident flight, the cockpit lighting failed and the pilot made an unscheduled landing at an airport. Later, a witness saw the pilot walking back to the airport with a 12-pack of beer.

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Pilot takes off with malfunctioning engine

Aircraft: Bowers Fly Baby 1-A. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Jefferson, Ga. Aircraft damage: Destroyed,

What reportedly happened: A witness told investigators that the pilot was attempting to diagnose an engine problem prior to the accident flight. The witness said that the engine was running rough and backfiring during takeoff.

When the airplane was about 200 feet AGL, it stalled, spun to the right, hit the ground and caught fire.

The post-accident examination revealed that the right magneto distributor gear was unsecured inside the housing. There were marks consistent with damage found after the gear became loose while the engine was under power.

Since limited maintenance records were available, it could not be determined how many flight hours had accumulated since the last engine overhaul.

Investigators determined that it was probable that the cotter pin was not installed in either magneto rotor drive shaft and that the right magneto’s castellated nut came loose during engine operation and that the unsecured distributor gear reduced engine performance, resulting in a partial loss of engine power.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control, resulting in an aerodynamic stall and spin. Also causal was the partial loss of engine power during the initial climb due to the improper installation of a magneto.

Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to take off with an engine problem and the mechanic’s failure to detect the missing magneto rotor cotter pins during the last engine overhaul.

NTSB Identification: ERA12LA141

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

VFR into IMC kills two

Aircraft: Cessna Cardinal. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: North Vernon, Ind. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: Before departing on the accident flight, the 458-hour pilot, who did not have an instrument rating, obtained several weather briefings, learning that instrument meteorological conditions prevailed along his route of flight.

The pilot took off. When the airplane was at an altitude of 7,800 feet MSL, he requested VFR flight following.

A short time later the pilot acknowledged instructions to contact air route traffic control center. No further communications were received from the pilot.

Radar data showed the airplane in a gradual descent from 7,800 to 2,800 feet MSL, before radar contact was lost.

The post-accident review of weather and radar data indicated that the airplane descended into instrument meteorological conditions near the destination airport.

The wreckage distribution was consistent with a high-speed impact. Investigators determined that, given the adverse weather conditions present at the time of the accident, it is likely that the pilot experienced spatial disorientation and lost control of the airplane.

Probable cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot’s decision to fly into known instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in spatial disorientation and loss of airplane control.

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA143

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Wind gust bends Maule

Aircraft: Maule M-5-180C. Injuries: None. Location: River Ranch, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who was on approach to the airport in VFR conditions, stated that he didn’t see any other airplanes or hear any radio communications to indicate the appropriate runway, and there were no visual indications of wind direction.

He chose to land on runway 16. When the airplane touched down, an unexpected wind gust pushed it right of the runway center line.

Before he could regain control the left wing tip and the left horizontal stabilizer tip hit the ground, sustaining substantial damage.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control after encountering a wind gust during landing.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA134

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Brake failure for Piper

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: None. Location: Del Norte, Colo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The private pilot, who had recently acquired the Super Cub, was receiving instruction from a CFI to get more familiar with the tailwheel airplane.

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Christen Eagle hits deer

Aircraft: Christen Eagle II. Injuries: None. Location: Eureka, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: As the pilot was attempting to land at the rural airport, a herd of deer wandered onto the runway. [Read more...]

Gear collapse for Duchess

Aircraft: Beech Duchess. Injuries: None. Location: San Carlos, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial

What reportedly happened: The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, the tower controller notified him that the right main landing gear did not appear to fully retract.

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Low altitude aerobatics kills one

Aircraft: RV-8. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Armistead, Calif. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: Multiple witnesses located near the accident site reported seeing the airplane flying over their position about 130 feet above the ground followed by it performing several barrel rolls.

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VFR into IMC kills two

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Chickasha, Okla. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The non-instrument rated private pilot obtained an outlook weather briefing and was told that instrument meteorological conditions prevailed along his route of flight, with ceilings below 1,000 feet and visibilities less than three miles in mist and fog.

Weather at the time of the accident was a ceiling of 900 feet overcast and seven miles visibility.

Residents heard an aircraft engine at high power, followed by the ground shaking and the sound of impact.

The airplane crashed between two buildings in a near-vertical attitude.

The engine and propeller were buried in the crater. All cables were on their respective pulleys and all cable breaks bore overload signatures.

Based on the high speed impact at which the airplane hit the ground and the instrument conditions that existed in the vicinity, it is likely that the pilot became disoriented and lost control of the airplane.

A post-accident examination of the airplane did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a pre-impact failure or malfunction.

Probable cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot’s decision to continue flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilot’s spatial disorientation and loss of control of the airplane. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of instrument certification.

NTSB Identification: CEN12FA101

 

This December 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Tired pilot forgets landing gear

Aircraft: Piper Navajo. Injuries: None. Location: Kaltag, Alaska Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, who was attempting to land in icing conditions, had a hard time seeing the runway. He retracted the landing gear to prevent ice from building up on the gear.

As he applied power to abort the approach, he suddenly saw the runway and decided to continue the landing. The pilot forgot to re-deploy the landing gear and the airplane landed gear-up and slid into a snow berm.

The pilot said that due to fatigue and other distractions, he failed to re-extend the landing gear.

Probable cause: The pilot landed without lowering the landing gear. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s self-reported fatigue.

NTSB Identification: ANC12CA012

This December 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.